Smaller businesses exercise social media tools to expand outreach – News-Press Now

Smaller businesses around St. Joseph have taken advantage of social media as a tool to expand the horizons of their company.

To get the word out about new businesses or those changing locations, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have been utilized mightily.

Jessica Estes of AR Workshops, located at 3855 Frederick Ave., said she was only familiar with Facebook when her business started. Now the business has its own Instagram page and posts TikTok videos once or twice a week.

“I hadn’t done very much on Instagram, so that was more of a learning curve,” Estes said. “I definitely pull in the younger girls that work here to help with that and to understand it. They know what’s cool. I think doing Facebook Lives, that’s kind of hard to put yourself in front of a camera. Just being yourself, being silly, showing people the real you is important.”

Estes said the success of AR Workshop’s social media outreach is due to those around her. She typically leaves the majority of the posting responsibilities to an employee. Doing so has eased those responsibilities and extended the outreach.

Another way they have extended the outreach is by focusing on customers’ work and showcasing it through their social media platforms.

“The best reach for us organically on social media is when we take someone’s picture when they leave,” Estes said. “As long as they’re willing for us to take their picture and post it because their friends see it, they comment on it, they wanna know ‘Where do you go to do that?’ That’s gonna be so much more visible.”

The uniqueness of paid social media positions is that they can be either full-time or part-time. Take Taylor Clinton, who runs the social media account for Fantastic Fido’s, located at 6108 N. Belt Highway, and Garden Gate Flowers, located 3002 Lafayette St. While most of her time is designated towards her profession as a teacher, Clinton said the approach to social media strategies at both businesses has changed over time.

“A lot of our regular clients, their go-to is more Facebook for getting their content versus our Instagram and our TikTok are more for fun to keep people up to do,” Clinton said. “I do feel like we really focused on one platform first. Facebook was definitely our starting point and then we branched off from there.”

Both Estes and Clinton agree that having a strong social media presence can separate a small business from the rest. For those trying to get their footing, whether they just opened or never paid much attention to social media at all, there are ways to get started.

“Pick your one platform and really build it up, and I feel like in the beginning, it was more class advertisements and getting our information pushed out, whereas now it’s turned more client-oriented,” Clinton said.

Missouri Western State University offers social media coaching for business owners just getting started. Contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at 816-271-4283 for more information.

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